GenY to the Xpower

pre-speaking jitters by Valerie Hoven

I’m worried that people coming to one of my sessions thinks I’m talking about social media. My presentation, called “Geek is Chic: Communicating and Promoting Technology in a Changing Healthcare World” is about how to tell your employees that their paper process will be automated.

Electronic medical records are being implemented all across the country, but so is Facebook and Twitter. The idea of an e-patient isn’t a patient who uses Facebook. It’s a patient who has a PHR and makes decisions using Web 2.0 tools. In order for a hospital to gear up for this shift in technology, you must first get the technology and brace yourself for change (that’s where I come in).

Social media planning comes next. Those tools help empower your own patients, and hopefully they make the right decision to come to your hospital.

So I hope people don’t leaving half-way through the presentation as we talk about CPOE because they wanted to talk about Twitter. I’ll let you know if I’m boo-ed out of my presentation.


Patient touch technology by Valerie Hoven

I’m getting pretty geeked out for stuff like this. I’m on the selection committee at my hospital for new CCTV system, and patient touch technology got rolled up into that. This software I believe was actually created in house by our own IS department. The smaller community hospitals I think benefit more than my own, though. We have more than 1,000 beds, and I’m just not sure all patients even know how to use a computer. But having the technology available is still beneficial for many patients and especially our staff.

It’s difficult to manage patient care for such a diverse population. You want to make it as easy as possible for them, but even as a very technologically advanced hospital, some patients like old-school ways. They like having paper orders in their hand for the lab. They like bringing the paper prescription to the pharmacy. Not everyone trusts “the system.”

Nothing beats having your doctor, nurse and care team tell you about your care though – in person. Having a nurse go over your post-surgery instructions isn’t old school, it seems ideal to me. Having that available through a computer is almost a necessity though simply because it’s a time saver. We improve technology, but saying it improves care is arbitrary, I realize. I’m  as Generation-Y as they come, and I try to limit my human interaction if I can get the info online or on my phone, but when it comes to my health, sometimes it’s hard to trust a machine.

Meanwhile, we still want digital signage for employees, patients and visitors, patient way-finding, and a system where employees can watch training videos and get the credit upon finishing. Recommendations welcome.